January 4 - Islamic Republic of Iran shipping lines (IRISL) has chartered two additional vessels for its breakbulk service between Antwerp and the Middle East.

HLPFI reported in March 2016 that IRISL resumed its regular European service and returned to Antwerp with its first containership since international sanctions were originally imposed and subsequently lifted.

The new multipurpose units with a capacity of 31,000 tonnes will mainly carry steel sheet and pipes, project cargo and heavy lifts. They are both equipped with two onboard cranes with a lifting capacity of 250 tonnes, able to operate in tandem.

In Antwerp the cargoes will be handled by NHS and Zuidnatie Breakbulk in the port's Churchill dock. The ships will call at Antwerp on a monthly basis with cargo destined for or coming from the ports of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Imam Khomeini.